The Myth of Pygmalion and the play of B. Shaw

“For all that,

For all that,

Let us be poor with you,

Wealth is a stamp on gold,

And we are the golden ones. “

R. Burns

Famous in the whole world English playwright Bernard Shaw lived a century, probably because he knew how to look at the world and see in him the paradoxes that saved him from unsolvable tasks. That’s ironic and made fun of people’s ability to understand nothing of what is happening under their very nose. I read his notes to the Devil’s Apprentice and Pigmalion, in which he says so directly that the relationship of heroes and heroines is not at all standard love, which will end either with a wedding or with heroic self-denial in the name of duty.

And what is the connection now with the myth of Pygmalion?

In fact, in the myth the sculptor received a brainless and shapeless piece of marble, he waved it as he, the artist, wanted. Could make a horse or Medusa Gorgon, and could figure a woman.

The stone did not care, it’s an object – and only. I did not want to cut the horse out of the stone to the sculptor, and Galatea came to the world at the behest of her creator. Being a generalization of all female virtues, she impressed her creator, and he begged Aphrodite to revive the stone. The goddess of love respected the feelings, and the statue came to life and all that. Here the fairy tale ended and the story began, about which the Greeks did not say anything.

Shaw also did not say what would happen later, and this, in my opinion, is the only resemblance to the myth.

In fact, it was not Henry Higgins who chose Elizou Doolittle from the thousands of London flower girls, but she promised him, and she also promised to pay. The young schoolgirl was a worthy daughter of the “most original moralist of modern England,” a scavenger and excavator, possessed undoubted linguistic talent and was already pretty, especially if brought to the state of “the Japanese of dazzling purity,” in which her father did not recognize. It was not for nothing that Colonel Pickering was

worried if his new friend with women was honest, and received a reassuring answer that of course not. Miss Eliza was not at all dirty, it’s easy for a lady to be clean, because she has a bath and a lot of special appliances…

So, Miss Doolittle is not at all an object of shearing and polishing, as it was with a piece of marble from the present Pygmalion, but, you might say, an equal participant in a linguistic experiment.

Now let’s see if the connoisseur of vowel sounds is suitable for Pygmalions, that is, for masters, who are polished out of dead material. Alas, even if Eliza is a piece of inertial mass, it’s not for Mr. Henry to do this, for the great scholar himself is so uncouth that his own mother begs him not to come to her foster days, and his exceptionally correct phonetic speech is peppered with God and abuse. strange English, unless the dictionary is lying, are the same. It was not for Higgins to educate Eliza, not to Higgins, to teach her everything that was not phonetics, not to Higgins to open the city’s mess, that she was no worse than secular girls, not to Higgins, to cultivate in her a noble restraint of feelings. The very feelings that Eliza had before and apart from Mr. Henry. Having learned to correctly pronounce the sounds of the native, but literary language, Elizabeth Doolittle has not changed internally, remaining a hard worker and a man in the full sense of the word. This is understood by the viewer, Pickering understands this, any character of the play understands this. In addition to Mr. Higgins, seriously considering that he “created” this girl who did not obey him. The scientist does not shine with intelligence, tact, and gratitude. What Pygmalion really is…

The gray mocking-author again joked with us. Nothing to do with the myth of Pygmalion in the play somehow not visible. However, Shaw would not have been Shaw, if he had really thought as he convinces us with all his might.

After all, did someone create Higgins as a useless, secular young man like Freddie? Who put into the soul of a street girl with a terrible reprimand: “Keptin, buy the best of the tsvitochik from the poor girl,” – self-esteem and the desire to rise above your position in an honest and straightforward ways? There is a bitter episode in the play when Eliza talks about how low she fell: she used to sell flowers before, and now she is offered to sell herself. Who taught her this, is not it his father, who at one time evaluated his paternal feeling in the five pounds received from the bidders? Why are the characters of Henry, Pickering, the housekeeper, father and daughter of Doolittle so powerful and so weak are the people of the living rooms, even the indisputably clever and broad Lady Higgins? The action of the play never leads us to church, and probably not the Almighty considers the author to be the creator of the strong and beautiful,


Who creates beautiful and strong characters, if the source material is at least suitable for something? Or what?

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The Myth of Pygmalion and the play of B. Shaw